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Issue No:84
  • :0976 1121
  • :December
  • :2020

Samudra Report No.84, December 2020


The Philippines / Fishing Crew

 Being Worker-friendly

The plight of fishworkers on board vessels engaged in commercial fishing operations calls for regulating their conditions of work and providing protection benefits

This article is by Dinna L. Umengan ( ), Executive Director, Tambuyog Development Center, Philippines

Concern over the conditions of fishworkers on board commercial fishing vessels was thrown into high relief in the Philippines in 2018. This was during a series of consultations that sought out small-scale fishers and fishworkers on the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines). Fishworkers who are employed or made to work in such vessels venturing into distant waters are prone to abuse in view of the distance and the physical impossibility of monitoring their activities while at sea. It is estimated that about 250 million people are employed in the global seafood industry; a majority of them come from developing countries. In 2016 a widespread occurrence was reported of forced labour in 47 countries, including the Philippines.

Forced labour refers to all work or service exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty—and...

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